How to Choose a Nursing Program in Oakland City Indiana
Selecting the best nursing school near Oakland City IN may seem like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Oakland City IN medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Oakland City IN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Oakland City IN. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Indiana community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Indiana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Oakland City IN or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Indiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Oakland City IN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Indiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Oakland City IN area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Indiana to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Indiana. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Oakland City IN home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Indiana and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Oakland City IN as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Oakland City IN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Oakland City IN area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Indiana or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Indiana school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Oakland City IN healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Oakland City IN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Oakland City IN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Oakland City IN
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Oakland City IN.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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